Clare Wright built a tiny art gallery in her front yard to connect the community to local artists and all the art is free.
It’s called a Free Little Art Gallery and it’s located in Phoenix’s Coronado neighborhood on Mitchell south of Palm.
The concept is simple and it’s similar to the free libraries that have been popping up lately. Instead of books, people can take or contribute art.
“I thought it would be kind of a fun way to give back to the community. I’m an artist myself,” Wright said.
She built the art gallery earlier this year after making the decision to pause her six-year career as an elementary school art teacher.
She is still passionate about connecting people to the arts, but Wright said the decision gave her a chance to focus on her career as an artist.
“They told us that we were going to return to in-person teaching, so I decided to step back this year. It was heartbreaking. I really didn’t want to, I was torn about it, but it was the best decision for me and my family at the time,” she said.
Other artists have gotten involved in the free gallery
The Free Little Art Gallery has become popular among artists and visitors, who’ve scored paintings by Ashley Macias, Diana P., Chelsea Hickok and Aileen Martinez. There’s also been handmade jewelry by Judith Amiel Bendheim, NinaMiaDesigns by Yeimy and Sun + Rise by Celeste Carbajal.
The gallery also fills with stickers, painted stones, blown glass, buttons, graphic prints and embroidery pieces.
Wright said that more little art galleries have popped up across the globe. Several out-of-state artists have also shipped artworks for Wright’s gallery in Phoenix.
“I’ve been able to make these connections with them and there’s almost this little network now. There’s one in Australia that I’m now virtual friends with, It’s crazy,” Wright said.
“It’s gotten such a positive response, which is amazing. I really poured myself into this and it’s been such a positive thing for me to focus on as well and also focusing on my own art, and becoming an emerging artist myself.”
Elizabeth Montgomery is Arts and Culture Reporter for The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com. Reach her at [email protected] or 602-444-8764. Follow her on Twitter @emontnews. Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.